Maersk Group announced on 6 May that it will relocate the office of the chairman of Maersk China and North Asia’s group representative from Hong Kong to Beijing as of 1 July.
Maersk China chairman Tim Smith will relinquish his other position as CEO of North Asia Region for Maersk Line as of 1 July to focus on the role of chairman of Maersk China and chief representative of Maersk in North Asia.
“We have chosen to relocate the office of the chairman to Beijing in consideration of the importance of China to our group,” Smith told IHS Maritime, “Mainland China is by far the largest cargo origin for our transportation related activities.”
Maersk has considerable investments and a large procurement programme in China. With China’s economy being in transition, it is necessary to be close to stakeholders in business and government to ensure that the group identifies opportunities and evolve in step with the needs and expectations of its customers, Smith added.
“Now focusing completely on my tasks as chairman and regional group representative, I will be able to provide added support for our activities in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, which are significant and important markets in their own right,” said Smith.
Smith has worked in the container shipping industry for 30 years, with most of that time in Asia. Smith started working with P&O Containers, which then turns into P&O Nedlloyd, he has been with Maersk Line since it took over in 2005, and was appointed CEO of Maersk Line in North Asia in 2008.
Currently, Maersk has 14,000 employees and 123 offices in 41 cities in China; 118 ships have been built for Maersk in China; and the procurement of the group in 2014 in China has reached USD2.6 billion.